After a thriliing tie with India, England return to the same pitch in Bangalore that provided 676 runs on Sunday just gone as heavy game favourites. Ireland are very unfancied at 12/1 (YouWin.com).
The pitch has barely changed, which is bad news for the bowlers; Jimmy Anderson had a fairly disastrous day for England against India, conceding 91 runs, to add to his 72 he leaked against the Netherlands. He was unlucky very early on with a Sehwag chance but still, the 4/1 (888sport) about him to be top bowler is not tempting.
Preference would go to the in-form Bresnan who took a 5-for, he is 7/2 with Ladbrokes to muscle through the Irish wickets and the returning Stuart Broad is also 7/2 () but it’s worth just taking time to check whether Broad plays due to illness recovery.
Ireland have only played one game so far, against Bangladesh, and will be relishing taking on their neighbours. The Irish pushed Bangladesh hard and perhaps, at 151-5, should have chased down the 206 to win. Again, the Irish top order can do reasonably well with Porterfield and O’Brien the men to watch (both 4/1 with Coral to top score).
The problem is the Irish don’t really have a tail as such and with so few wickets in hand will struggle to chase or set a big score. Strauss should excel again if the conditions hold and he is 5/2 with bet365 to top score and Ian Bell is a very interesting 11/2 with Totesport for a top knock and takes a marginal preference.
Overall, England should be on for a 2nd win in 3 games but the track, and Irish spirit, will eliminate a thrashing. Ireland with a +6.5 wicket or +75.5 run handicap at 5/6 (Sportingbet) is a good bet.